Official spokespersons from the Johns Hopkins Pediatric center have just announced that they have managed to successfully treat a young girl with a rare form of tuberculosis. Child with XDR TB is in remission and all lab test have confirmed it.
The case itself is thoroughly documented and has been published in the November the 16th edition of The Lanced Infectious Disease magazine. XDR TB, or, more specifically, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, is a dangerous form of TB caused by a bacteria that is very resilient to most forms of anti-tuberculosis drugs.
According to worldwide research, it seems that a case of tuberculosis, which affects one in three people, can degenerate into a very dangerous strain if it is mismanaged.
XDR TB is an airborne disease, meaning that an individual can come down with this disease if he has contact with someone who already is infected. Spiting, sneezing or a simple chitchat could prove to be good opportunities for the bacteria to spread.
A sneeze from an infected person can propel the bacilli with great speed in the air. Furthermore, some studies come to suggest that the bacteria can stay in air for several hours before it infects someone. A person can contract TB even by inhaling a small quantity of air infected with the TB bacteria. There is also something else to consider here. Even though you can contract the disease, the bacteria could lay dormant in your system for a couple of years. This usually happens when the immune system is up and running and is capable of detecting the bacteria, as it enter the bloodstream.
The little white warriors from our blood manages to cease the assailant and constructs a barrier around him. TB could stay that way for many years, waiting for a chance to jump over the proverbial fence.
Getting back to our original case, it would seem that child with XDR TB is in remission after 12 weeks of extensive lab tests. One of the doctors involved in the case, by the name of Sanjay Jain, said that the initial tests came up either negative or the results were very vague.
The most striking thing occurred when the specialist decided to submit her to a chest X-Ray. A spot on the lung revealed that the little girl might be infected with TB. Following their hunch, the doctor started to administer anti-TB drugs and soon, the little girl showed improvement.
Although the symptoms subsided in a couple of weeks, there was the issue of lung inflammation. The doctors then turned to a rather unconventional method in order to track down the disease. By using a modified CT scanner, the specialists scanned the little girl’s lungs with low-yielding radiation to see how the disease is progressing.
After extensive treatments and CT supervision, over a course of 6 months, the doctor gave the little 5-year old a clean bill of health declaring that she is in remission. Although the disease seems to be gone and chances are very slim that she would become infected again, the doctors have decided to monitor her for the next 2 years.